• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Thursday, 21 December 2017 14:58

SVD house in Myanmar hosts pilgrims for Papal visit


Pope in Myanmar villagers at SVD house 450The SVD in Myanmar joined the local parish of Hmawbi to host hundreds of people from surrounding areas in their property when Pope Francis came to town recently. 

The house, which is still undergoing renovation, was at a stage where tiling had been completed and it was fit and habitable for the guests.

Fr John Hung Le SVD, who is overseeing the renovation project on behalf of the AUS Province, said he was approached by the parish priest of Sacred Heart Parish in Hmawbi, north-west of Yangon to see if the people from surrounding areas could stay in the SVD house during the papal visit.

“Each parish around Yangon was assigned to host people from different parishes from around the country and even from neighbouring countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia,” Fr John says.

“So on November 26, hundreds of people arrived at the parish at Hmawbi. They had travelled from six to 15 hours by bus, while many others travelled for up to two days.”

Local parishioners volunteered to cook, clean, arrange, organise and to welcome the visitors.

“All the women stayed in our building and the sisters’ convent and the men stayed in the parish hall and class-rooms,” Fr John says.

“There were no beds, no doors and no mosquito nets, but it didn’t matter. Many of the people stayed up all night talking because they were so excited to be meeting the Pope.”

Pope in Myanmar Fr John with group 450The following day, Sacred Heart Parish was assigned to meet the Pope at the airport.

“We hired seven public buses from town to take people to the airport and there were some groups in traditional dress who danced outside the airport waiting for the Pope to arrive,” he says.

The next night, the people didn’t sleep at the parish, but left early for the stadium where the Pope would celebrate Mass early the next morning.

“When I entered the stadium, the people were sitting on the ground, filling up half the stadium, but by 7am the stadium was full,” Fr John says.

“I’ve been told that about 200,000 Catholics and non-Catholics attended.”

Fr John says he had seen the Pope twice before at the Vatican, but this time was different.

“Most people, and even the clergy, are simple here,” he says. “The surroundings were simple and the simple church tried her best to make it possible for the Pope to come and visit her country, which is dominated by Buddhism.

“It went gracefully and peacefully well.

“I could feel the close cooperation from the government, sending police and army personnel to guide and guard people, stopping the traffic for people to cross the road, guiding cars and buses to safe areas to unload people and many other security tasks.

Pope in Myanmar Fr John Hung Le“I was really touched by the spirit of the people. The young as well as the elderly radiated with joy to have the Pope visit them in their own country.”

The following day, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with the youth of Myanmar in the local Cathedral, where numbers were more limited.

Fr John says the Pope’s visit brought new hope and unity to the people of Myanmar.

“Especially the Catholic Church in Myanmar, to be known globally. And among the different ethnic groups, they felt a unity in faith,” he says.

The visit also had a personal impact on Fr John as a priest and missionary.

“Reaching out to be present to the people speaks more than preaching from the pulpit or from the keyboards, and Facebook, or mobile phone, or preaching from ‘clouds’ or Twitter,” he says.

“The Pope’s visit to Myanmar gave a new ray of hope to the country, opening up dialogue to the Catholic Church and it was an important opportunity for the SVDs to take a new step of mission in Myanmar.”


Top Right: People travelled many hours from surrounding areas to stay at the SVD House in Myanmar

Middle Left: Fr John with a parish group, meeting Pope Francis at the airport on arrival

Bottom Right: Fr John before the Papal Mass